CMMI Guide to the Perplexed

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Covers understanding CMMI, Picking a consultant/lead appraiser & what to do if you picked poorly, and, how to make yourself less at the mercy of your appraiser or the need for consultants.

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CMMI Guide to the Perplexed

  1. 1. CMMI Guide to the Perplexed With All Due Respect to Maimonides 3/25/2009
  2. 2. Many things about CMMI Can Be Perplexing  What perplexes you?  What’s actually “required”?  How to understand/use CMMI appropriately.  How far can interpretation be stretched?  OK already! Agile and CMMI can co-exist. But how?  What about all the redundancies?  How to choose a consultant or appraiser. loser consultant/appraiser.  How to avoid picking a  If you already picked a loser, how to defend your processes and artifacts.  How to work with CMMI without the need to work with a (loser) consultant. 2 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  3. 3. What perplexes you? 3 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  4. 4. What’s actually “required”?  Process Areas  Specific Goals Required  Specific Practices  Generic Goals  Generic Practices Expected 4 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  5. 5. How to understand/use CMMI appropriately. (1) UNDERSTAND MODELS 5 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  6. 6. How to understand/use CMMI appropriately. (2) YOUR CMMI’s practices for IMPROVING activities to MAKE stuff how you make & DELIVER stuff & deliver services. services. Diagrams not to scale. 6 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  7. 7. … In Other Words and Therefore:  You need to know what you’re doing before CMMI can help.  How you manage projects, develop products, & define your standards are yours.  Not all projects or processes are good candidates for improvement with CMMI.  Pursuit of Maturity Levels is likely to cause non-value-added work to some of your projects and processes.  That’s why CMMI emphasizes the business value of the improvements.  PAs are called Process Areas and not processes because they are areas of process activities.  Regardless of where & when they might appear on a project. 7 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  8. 8. How far can interpretation be s-t- r-e-t-c-h-e-d?  Ask the question(s) backwards: How do you Which of your What are avoid the outputs do you doing risks what you do Does it do CMMI?  What does the CMMI expect you to accomplish? Read the informative material! 8 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  9. 9. OK already! Agile and CMMI can co- exist. But how? Extreme Extreme Optimized Optimized Core Agile Core Core Principles Agile CMMI Principles Principles 9 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  10. 10. CMMI & Agile Manifesto and CMMI.  Be honest with the  Systems Engineering: Components of the system are necessarily sub-optimized to optimize the system.  Allow the “balance” to be fluid and dynamic. systems engineering  Process design is a exercise, NOT a compliance drill!  Optimization is context-driven. What’s the business reason for the process / improvement? both Agility and Discipline  Being fully committed to requires being a learning organization, not pathologically box-checking one. 10 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  11. 11. What about all the redundancies?  Redundancies were necessary to facilitate the organic (continuous) growth.  You are not required to be redundant. improvement!  That would be antithetical to  Ex. There doesn’t have to be a difference between how you validate requirements or work products for your products and services compared to how it’s done for work products of the project. 11 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  12. 12. How to choose a consultant or appraiser.  “Know your (CMMI) stuff”.  Knowledge is power.  Become (or get) an expert in CMMI/SCAMPI.  Pilot your consultant/lead.  Try before you buy.  Don’t “buy” the entire “package” in the beginning.  Like a doctor, seek a 2nd opinion.  Hire a different consultant for a training component, or for implementation, or for a SCAMPI C or B.  Ask for and follow-up on references.  Lurk on discussion boards and Google for publications/work.  PARS (http://sas.sei.cmu.edu/pars/) 12 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  13. 13. How to avoid picking a loser consultant/appraiser.  Define “loser”. Someone who …  Is a pathological box-checker.  Can’t relate to you.  Can’t think “out of the box”.  “One-trick pony.”  Inflexible/Unreasonable (where the model and methods would otherwise allow)  Poor communication skills.  Use your heart, not your head.  Interview by what’s important, not shallow cost/schedule.  If cost/schedule are #1 priority, give up now. 13 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  14. 14. Avoiding losers  Questions to ask:  Explain to you what the generic practices do in a way that you can use.  Describe a typical engagement flow.  Give them a real issue you’re facing and ask them what they’d recommend you do about it.  Provide some processes of yours which are troubling you (and/or process areas) and to ask them how they'd interpret and implement CMMI to address your situation. 14 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  15. 15. More Loser Avoidance  What to look/listen for:  Talking more about you than themselves.  Taking ownership of your needs and business.  Trying to figure out what makes most business sense?  Looking for ways to save you time, money, energy?  Looking to ensure your effort goes smoothly and meets your needs?  Mindful of you/your staff’s limitations on resources.  Talking business and value not compliance.  Relates to your situation, context, technology, market, customers and approach.  Seem to be “giving away” a lot of free help. Using SEI as an excuse or scapegoat. “Requiring” things not required by CMMI/SCAMPI. SCAMPI C for ML2 takes 2 weeks. 15 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  16. 16. If you already picked a loser, how to defend your processes and artifacts. Required from your Expected.  Know your  Understand model intent.  Understand and demonstrate your context.  Start with known/defined processes.  If you’re worried, throw a SCAMPI C or B  Don't let your SCAMPI A be your first experience with a disconcerting LA.  Hire a trusted consultant/LA to prepare/participate on SCAMPI.  Know and Tell your PIID story effectively  Starts with ensuring you've properly interpreted the model.  The model is predominantly common sense, if something doesn't make sense you’re probably not interpreting it correctly. 16 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  17. 17. How to work with CMMI without the need to work with a (loser) consultant.  Gain expertise/experience in:  Project Management  Process Improvement  TQM  Lean  Engineering  Understand and define the distinctions:  Process areas, processes, and procedures,  Standards,  Project activities vs. Development/Service Activities  Use CMMI to improve the above, not define the above. 17 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  18. 18. Summary  Understand Models, in general.  Be honest with the core values of Agile and CMMI.  Grow your expertise in TQM, Lean, and Change.  Get a handle on how you manage projects, develop products and services and use CMMI to improve them, not define them.  Interview for values and principles, not impersonal traits. 18 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  19. 19. Questions/Discussion 19 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***
  20. 20. Contact 20 3/25/2009 ®2009 Entinex, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ***PROPRIETARY***

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